Monday, August 19, 2013

Brunch: Plow

We're a brunch-loving couple. Back in Pittsburgh, we went to Pamela's religiously. We're on a mission to find our "Pamela's" in the Bay Area. We have searched high and low and we're still not content. I thought it was time to start blogging our little mission and if you have any recommendations for this area, do share.

We love brunch so much that the hubs doesn't complain when I ask him to drive up to the city and wait in the fog for an hour to finally get a taste of plow.

We've joked before that it seems like they have chickens in the back laying the eggs before the cook them. Their food just oozes with freshness. Every time I go there, despite wanting to try new things, I can't get over their crispy potatoes (totally worth the extra workouts required) and the lemon ricotta pancakes. They are so awesome that I tried making them at home with no success. After a few attempts to mimic the pancakes at home, I've held up the white flag and so now we just head up to the city when I have a craving.

While tasty, it's just a bit far to make this our place. And the brunch mission continues...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stitch Fix Review: Deja Vu Boxes

We did another Stitch Fix round. This time due to some birthdays, we opted to have our fix a little earlier than we had in the past. I realize this blog has become quite Stitch Fix heavy - but who doesn't like a little shopping ever so often? Fear not though, there will be other non-clothing related posts as well shortly. :)

This round was a set of boxes that looked eerily familiar as a number of items were in multiple boxes and one of the items was in someone else's box the prior round. I will warn you, dear reader, that this is not a short post -- there are a number of items given that we had 4 boxes to go through! Whee!   (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2, Box 3

So let's get started, shall we?

My Box 
(1) Donelle Lurex Floral Pattern Dress from Mystree
I loved the subtle pattern of the flowers and the subtle shine that came from the stitching. It's a fun twist on the LBD (Little Black Dress) and easily customized with a belt.

(2) Noel Crochet Detail Sheer Sleeveless Top from Conceptual Concepts
I'm loving the romantic, ever so subtly boho, look these days. I was a bit worried the pink wouldn't work for my complexion but it looks fine in the pics. Most likely thanks to the CA sun for that subtle tan I've worked up.

(3) Ivy Zig-Zag Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse from 41Hawthorn
The fit, not bad. The pattern was adorable. The color combo of the blue and black was a wee bit too much for me.

(4) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan
The ballerina dress that was in my box, Laurie's box and Laura's box (in red). For me, it hit really high up and with my tall torso, it didn't cut it. Below are some of our best ballerina poses for your enjoyment.

(5) Layered Gold Leaf Necklace
No picture - I liked the gold part but I was not a fan of the rest. It felt a bit cheap to me. I did contemplate just removing the rest of the sections and only keeping the gold bit. 

Coleen's Box
(1) Bryce Pin-Tuck Short Sleeve Blouse from Under Skies
We all felt it was an interesting color but nothing special enough to keep it.

(2) Jay Houndstooth Printed Skirt from Lasome
This worked really well for Laurie. We have a number of outfits that we created with this skirt. :)

(3) Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse from 41 Hawthorn
The sleeves were interesting. It's not a bad basic black blouse if you needed one. However, none of us were in love with it. I think the fit is better than some of the other blouses we've tried.

(4) Hanneli Polka Dot Swing Skirt from Peppermint and (5) Two Strand Glitter Gems Necklace from 41Hawthorn
Both Laura and I are wearing the skirt and I have the necklace on as well. Super fun and cutesy although I felt like a sailor girl (hence the weird pose).

Laura's Box
(1) Eleanor Contrast Piping Peplum Top from Under Skies
I'm not sure where a peplum shirt is supposed to hit but it didn't hit any of us in the right spot. Both Laura and I have relatively longer torsos for our height and this showed off the tummy a bit. 

(2) Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts
Pretty and cute but nothing too special. If you recall, Coleen had this in her box in the last round but in green.

(3) Art Deco Gems Necklace from 41Hawthorn 

(4) Sophia Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Laura's wearing the jeans in a number of the pics above but as with the last set of jeans, they were too long.

(5) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan 
(Deja vu - see above)

Laura's Box
(1) Two Strand Bubble Necklace from 41Hawthorn 
Very pink. Very neon. 'Nuff said.

(2) Huntly Cat Print Collared Tank from Pink Martini
Who doesn't love a good cat print? Especially for a cat owner, this is the perfect shirt!

(3) Katana Mini Dot Crew Neck Sweater from Tulle
A little short for those with long torsos (darn them torsos!) But super adorable on Laurie (and super adorable with the houndstooth skirt).

(4) Donelle Lurex Floral Pattern Dress from Mystree
(Deja vu - see above)

(5) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan 
(Deja vu - see above)

So what did we keep?
Me: Floral pattern dress and crochet sheer top
Laurie: Cat print shirt, Mini Dot Sweater and Houndstooth Skirt
Coleen: Nada
Laura: Zilch

Hope you guys enjoyed a little look into our Stitch Fix boxes!  (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2Box 3

Thursday, August 01, 2013

All in the name of science

Both my husband and I are really just kids who never grew up. Invite us to a science museum and we are in -  any day, any time! So when we had a chance to check out the Exploratorium in SF together, we jumped in. No hesitation.

Science is fun - and hard work...

And we're willing to be just a little crazy in the name of science. (Yes, because otherwise we're perfectly normal and don't do anything that's too cray cray ;-).

And science also confirmed that I am a speech goat. Not that I didn't know I was a goat, but the spectogram (a machine to show the spectrum of frequencies in sound in a visual way) made it all the more obvious to my husband why speech recognition software has a rough time with my voice.

Ah yes, science explains so many things.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stitch Fix Review 3.14

It's time for another Stitch Fix box! :) This time we're calling it box 3.14 (or pi) since it's my 4th box, Laurie's 3rd box and Coleen's first. What does that give you? Pi! Hardee har har! I crack myself up with my brilliance sometimes. (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2

So let's take a look at the boxes because I know that's why you're here and what ya'll really want to see!

Laurie's Box

(1) Maxwell Ladder Stitch Silk Blouse from Daniel Rainn
We're apparently not fans of the flowy blouses. I think they look love one some people but we're not confident in them. The necklace I'm wearing actually comes from Coleen's box and works really well with this blouse.

(2) Bilson Silk Pleat Tab-Sleeve Blouse from 41Hawthorn
This one was even bigger and longer than the other one. I think the length didn't help it.

(3) Krietta Mix Striped Maxi Dress from Kensie
Maxi dresses are so comfy and this one has a fun touch at the bottom to make it unique. Super adorable!

(4) Art Deco Square Jeweled Necklace from Baublebar
Love this look!

(5) Johnny Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Too small for Laurie. Fit me but way too long - no one needs pics of that! :)

Coleen's Box

(1) Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts
Super simple but quite a lovely color.

(2) Karenna Flutter Detail Dress from Lilla P
Definitely needed the belt and adding a cardi really makes the dress pop.

(3) Kristy Striped Fine Gauge Sweater from Renee C
This is sooo not the right color for me. But cute style.

(4) Sophia Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Way too long for the shorties in the group...

(5) Leaf Charms Long Necklace from 41Hawthron
I thought it was adorable! (See the first picture of this blog post where I'm wearing it) I don't normally wear long necklaces or I could have kept it myself. :)

My Box
I'm going to admit I was a little disappointed in my box this time. It really was outside my comfort level. The last two boxes were much more my style (even with the pieces I sent back).

(1) Kennedy Ikat Tunic Dress
Way too much pattern and it hits me really high up. You can tell on Coleen it hit at a much more appropriate spot. Laurie just wore it with a pair of leggings to keep this blog PG.

(2) Sheila Beaded Collar Detail Dress from Mystree
Love at first sight. Coleen and Laurie called this the "Belinda" dress.

(3) Shanna Draped Printed Dress
I don't have the boobs to pull this off -- damn genetics. It drapes a little funny on me. I loved how it looked on Coleen. I didn't think it was that bad on me until I saw it on her.

(4) Stacy Tabsleeve Floral Print Dress
I'll admit... I called this the "Grandma" dress. Perhaps the better description is "Prairie Girl" dress. The lace detail (the only part I liked) was on the back and not something you'd notice. In addition, I felt like you had to add a cardi or it wouldn't work (but that would hide the lace).

(5) Art Deco Tube Multi Beaded Necklace
Blech. Not my cup of tea.

So what did we keep?
Laurie: It's a surprise. Cos that's how she rolls.
Coleen: On the fence with the maxi dress. I also think she should keep the blue flutter detail dress but we'll see..
Belinda: Shelia Beaded Collar Dress

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix out, give it a shot! And finding 2 other friends to do it with you means triple the fun!

(Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pinnacles National Park

For me, the quintessential summer involves hiking and exploring the great outdoors. It brings back memories of stuffing into the car and just riding for miles on end. While I might not have appreciated it much as a child, today I appreciate those trips more than I can express. So when a friend asked if I wanted to check out Pinnacles National Park, the answer was an enthusiastic yes. The views were spectacular and I wouldn't mind staying there forever. Already making plans to go back Spring next year (if not sooner!)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

StitchFix Box 2.5

As I mentioned before, I've been using Stitch Fix to get my clothes. My stylist Margaret has given me some amazing pieces, things that I'd never try on in the store but I adore. (Box 1 blogged here)

This time my friend Laurie and I aligned our dates so that we'd get our Stitch Fix boxes at the same time. We're similar sizes and we thought it'd be fun trying on 10 pieces rather than 5. Because more is always better (at least according to the recent AT&T commercials). It was a blast -- so much so that we're going to make sure our next boxes arrive on the same date as well!

Laurie's Box

(1) Pink, blue and patterned from Fun2Fun
I think we were a bit torn on this at first. Although we all thought it looked cute once you added a cardi.

(2) Green and white cardi and (3) bib necklace
I thought this looked adorable and it's nice and light. Perfect for the office in the summer time. The bib necklace was much better out of the box (but then again, most things are). :)

(4) Ilean Crochet Detail Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts
The color is stunning on this. I loved this the minute Laurie held it up and wanted to claim it right then and there. Hah.

(5) Jeans 

My Box

(1) Mariah Lace Print Back Cut-out Tank from Fun2Fun
I thought it was a bit big on me. Laurie added a cardi and definitely helped it out a lot.

(2) Flower Dangle Bib Necklace from Baublebar
What a fun color!

(3) Josefin Stripped Ruffle Detail Blazer from Collective Concepts
Fit - amazing. Stripes - a bit too strong for me.

(4) Leisel Sheer Striped Knit Tank from Mystree
Super fun and summery. Light and casual.

(5) Yolanda Printed Shift Dress from Under Skies
When I tried this on, I felt it was boxy and Laurie happened to have an awesome black belt. Even better with some leggings.

And Micron definitely approves... at least approves of the box. ;-)

So what do you think we picked?

Me: The Leisel Sheer Striped Tank and Ilean Crochet Detail Sleeveless Blouse (from Laurie's Box)
Laurie: Yolanda Printed Shift Dress (from my box) and the green and white cardi (from her box)

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix out, give it a shot! And find a friend to try things on with you for double the fun!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Birthday Palooza

No one would ever say that I have the memory of an elephant. In fact, I tend to forget things the week after it happens unless it's recorded somehow (either via pen, computer or camera). So in an attempt to remember the great moments, I've started what I like to call "Project Whatever the Heck I Feel Like". Shortened to Project Whatever because that's how I roll.

I love the small 6x8 albums that have been floating around. They're always really quick layouts and I've been doing a number of events from 2013. I haven't been sharing them, but there are some events that are too amazing not to share. That  is a layout from what I like to call the crazy birthday palooza of 2013. Because it was a fricking good one. One filled with family, friends, and love. The way they always should be.

The little rosemary twig was actually on my plate so I incorporated the page. I love incorporating small little things like this into the page. It adds a little something something and helps me remember the tiny details. In general, I like to keep these relatively simple with little bulk but rules are made to be broken.

I love asking for the business cards from my favorite restaurants. They're great if you don't have a chance to take a photo of your group (or the tasty food). The one from Station One was way too pretty to not make a key part of the page and so I had some of the food photos .

Also been loving stamping on my photos. A little ink+ the heat gun make for some great little details on the photos. The nice thing is that usually if you mess up, you can wipe it off and start over again.

Loving that these spreads are so fun and easy. Have you given them a try? Share your links!


Stamps: Limitless Labels (Papertrey Ink), Dear Lizzy Roller Stamp (American Crafts)
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink, White Wood Paper (Kelly Purkey DD Kit)
Patterned Paper: Gold vellum, twinkle card (Kelly Purkey DD Kit), Dotted paper (Cosmo Cricket)
Accents: Staples (Tim Holtz Mini Stapler), Wood Veneer Stars (Studio Calico), Sticker (Cosmo Cricket)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stitch Fix Review

So this isn't my typical post but at the same time, I don't think I've crafted in awhile so I have a feeling this blog is going to diverge a bit - might even change my header if I'm feeling crazy. :)

I signed up for a service called Stitch Fix, which is a fun, personal styling service. Mainly because I wanted to try to bring a sense of style into my wardrobe. After you fill out a profile on your size and your style, they send you a fun box of goodies. You can schedule it to come every month (or manually set which dates you want them to come). Each item also comes with a little tag that tells you how to style it with things you might already have in your closet.

I'm normally not someone to buy clothes via mail but I realized that over the years, my closet has become dangerously filled with items from White House Black Market. Mainly because every time I go, one of the sales lady helps me pair outfits and I buy three times more than I intended (and three times more than what I buy at other stores). Also, being a Computer Scientist, the idea of using machine learning and data analysis to refine what is included in my box is fascinating to me.

Couple of reasons why I'm loving Stitch Fix so far:
  • A box of clothes landing on my front door without having to lift a finger. I've been crazy busy so this is a fun way to add a little retail therapy to my life once a month.
  • Trying on clothes in the comfort of home and getting my husband's opinion without dragging him into the mall.
  • Having someone tell me how to style things and pick out things I might not try myself
  • Using social networking to get my friend's thoughts (and have a few days to ponder). Follow me on Instagram for all the conversations. :) 
As I'm a compulsively curious person who loves seeing what everyone else gets, I figured it was only right that I also post my Stitch Fix box. So here you go!

Item 1: Sunburst Multi Color Scarf
Verdict: Pass, maybe? Still on the fence...
While I love the pop of colors and the fact that it'd probably go with a lot of what I have already, I'm not convinced I'm a scarf gal. I'm glad I tried it and I'm definitely on the fence here. We'll see how I feel tomorrow after I prance around the house with it on some more. :)

Item 2: Catie Printed Tunic
Verdict: Pass
This was slightly large on me and looked a little funny near the bum area - although nothing a little altering couldn't fix. This actually hit me mid-thigh and as I already have stubby legs, I felt that a tunic that hit me mid-thigh only made me seem shorter. I wanted to like this so much when I saw it but unfortunately the fit didn't work for me. I think tunics need to hit me in the hip and not the thigh or maybe just needs the better fit? Not sure...

Item 3: Olle Sheer Back Cowl Neck Tank
Verdict: Pass
I was pretty close to keeping this but unfortunately a stitch was loose on the back. I plan to email Stitch Fix to see if there's something we can do about it (or at least so they're aware). My husband begged me to keep this as he loved it that much - basically because he said it was soft and he loved the sheer back. But I wasn't about to keep something that had a loose stitch so had to pass.

Item 4: Callie Denim Jacket
Verdict: Keep
My husband claimed that Jean coats are "so 1978". But I kindly pointed out that those fashion statements were making a comeback. (I then commented that I really wanted to buy a pair of leggings because they look so darn comfortable and I'm pretty sure his jaw dropped). What I liked about the jacket is that it worked with a number of skirts I have in my closet that have been collecting dust like the coral skirt I pulled out this weekend to pair with the jacket. And with the chilly summer nights in the Bay Area, this will be perfect. I had been eyeing jean jackets for awhile but I never thought I had enough skirts to pair with it until I took a look at my closet and started pulling out some oldies but goodies. Might also encourage me to finally try some colored pants (as I think that would be awesome with this as well).

Item 5: Betsey Open Back Sweater
Verdict: Pass
Darn my long torso! I had to keep pulling it down or you'd see my tummy in these photos. It's cute but I don't feel right showing my tummy so out this went. (Yes the tag is sticking out but the little information panel and the tag were attached to it so it was easier to keep the tag out)

Overall: This was loads of fun and I nearly bounded up the stairs after my business trip and threw these clothes on. :) I'll definitely be getting some more boxes after adjusting a few size preferences. If you haven't given Stitch Fix a try, I highly encourage it. In full transparency, there are also other services that I haven't tried myself (Cake Style, Tog and Porter, Keaton Row) but definitely read up on some reviews if you're interested and let me know what you think! I am thinking of giving Tog and Porter a try -- maybe for my upcoming birthday month.

*That link will give me Stitch Fix credit just so we're 100% clear. Feel free to sign up without my referral code as well if that's how you roll.